Now that the school holidays are over and school routine is back to normal some of you may be interested in a brief history of school life in Queensferry.
From early times there was always an association of the church and the school.
The first school was in the churchyard of the Old Parish Church in the Vennel. In July 1671, it was decided to build a school using local stonework, at the south end of churchyard. The school was ready for occupancy in 1672 and still stands today as the Masonic Hall.
From 1866, Queensferry Primary School, or 'the Wee School' was on the land beside the Library in the west end of Queensferry. It was erected by the Dundas family in memory of Mary Shaw who was a faithful and attached nurse in Dundas Castle for 50 years
In 1916, it was proposed that children would have two weeks taken off their summer holiday to allow them to help on farms during the potato-picking season in October. This suggestion was not popular with parents and school boards. The need for children to help out on the farms was mainly due to the lack of farmers and farm labourers during the First World War.
Reasons for Absences other than Truancy, included Coughs and Colds, outbreaks of Scarlet Fever, Whooping Cough, German Measles, Mumps and Diptheria. Also lack of boots during very wet and cold weather!
Former Pupils Remember Some of the Teachers
of Queensferry Public School (now Queensferry Nursery)
Miss Laura Davidson was sister of Provost Davidson, “you couldn’t have a better
person to start school life”.
Miss Simpson was “a grand person and a very able teacher indeed”.
Miss Gregor was “a lovely fresh looking person, a good teacher, and she later married
Dr John Mason”. Mary Gregor and John Mason married in 1926.
Miss Dishart “Dirtyshirt” was “a good straightforward teacher”.
Granny Forbes “had grey hair worn in a high hairstyle, a bit Edwardian, she wore a
blouse with a high collar. She was a nice, efficient teacher”.
Miss Gauld “wore gold rimmed spectacles. She shouted and pinched you on the arm to
get over what she was teaching, but she was a good teacher”.
“Wee Prosser never smiled, she would bite her lips when giving you the belt. She was
quiet and not very effective”.
Miss Sutherland at the’ Quallie’ (Qualifying Dance – forerunner of todays “Prom”),
wore high heels to impress she was taller, a wee smasher with black hair, loaded with jewellery, but she could swing that tawse(belt). She was no good at
Dux members of Queensferry Public School, 1923 – 1938
the board is now in Queensferry Museum